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Yesterday news outlets across Australia reported on a study that suggested a correlation between loneliness and premature death.

Lack of human companionship and failed dating site experiences may be the first causes that come to mind, however, Animal Welfare League NSW (AWL NSW) believes a lack of animal companionship is also a causal factor.

In multiple research projects, owning an animal has been proven to have mental and general health benefits. AWL NSW believes loneliness can be cured by adopting an animal, therefore preventing the link between premature death and loneliness developing.

People who own pets are also more likely to have a better immune system, a system which is reportedly weakened in those locked in solitude.

Older people, who may be more susceptible to loneliness, may think they can’t own a pet due to not knowing what would happen to it should they pass away. AWL NSW has a solution for that.

“We have a long standing Legacy program where people can leave their pets in our care should they pass away,” say AWL NSW CEO Andrew Mason.

“The program allows pets of deceased people to find a new caring home through us, be put into permanent foster where we cover all the living costs of the animal (including veterinary treatment) and regularly check on its welfare or, for cats, we have Legacy House – an open plan housing solution where cats can live out their lives in a colony environment with plenty of enrichment and attention from staff and volunteers.”

Particularly as we come into the holiday season, it is important those suffering in silence reach out and find some sort of companionship. AWL NSW would like such people to consider having a look on our website at animals available for adoption, or to simply come out to one of our shelters and meet our pooches and cats who would also love a companion for Christmas.

To view animals awaiting a new companion head to our adoption page.